I’ve used and reviewed a variety of vacuums – corded, cordless, and robotic. I found most of them a bit disappointing and definitely not worth the price. This was the only constant exception Neto.
Over the years I have tested Rydis, Roomba, Dyson, Neato, Samsung, bObsweep, Deebot, etc. vacuum cleaners. Some did double duty like vacuuming and mopping, and others had a pop-up handheld vacuum. Most of them were fine with the basic features out of the box, but were unable to effectively handle my “challenging environment”. There were six people and a real petting zoo to contend with (we currently have four dogs, seven cats, a pig, two ready and a turtle).
Honestly, I feel like the harsh conditions make me uniquely qualified to really test the vacuum. Forget vendor presentations or proficiency testing in a controlled environment. I’ve put the vacuums through their paces in real-world conditions that challenge even the best vacuuming techniques.
I’ve used a few different Neato models, but for almost 3 years now it’s been Neato Botvac connected D7 He was the workhorse that kept the floors clean. The Neato D7 is a robot vacuum designed for pet owners and allergy sufferers. It comes with a number of features that make it an effective cleaning solution for busy households, as well as pet hair and allergens.
One of the things I like about the Neato robot vacuum in general is that it has a large dustbin, which means it can hold more dirt and debris before it needs to be emptied. This is especially useful for households with pets, as pet hair can quickly fill up a small trash can. The bin is also easy to empty, which makes maintenance easier. Self-emptying Units Available Vacuum the contents of the robot vacuum’s litter box into a larger containment unit in the charging base. It’s a very cool concept, but with the amount of pet fur we have in our house, it’s no substitute for having a large capacity trash can on the unit itself.
Neato’s laser-based mapping and navigation system is better than many units I’ve used. This allows the vacuum to map the layout of your home and create a cleaning plan tailored to your specific needs. It uses a laser sensor to scan the room, allowing it to avoid obstacles and navigate around furniture. This makes them very efficient and can cover large areas of the house in a short time.
Neato comes with a number of smart features that can be controlled through the Neato app. You can schedule cleaning sessions, designate restricted areas, and even track the bot’s progress in real time. You can also use voice commands to control the robot with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the same functionality with Apple Siri as we replaced Amazon Echo units with Apple HomePods.
Most competing robot vacuums appear to be round. The Neato range of vacuum cleaners are built around a D-shaped design that allows it to get into tight corners and edges, ensuring no dirt remains. It’s relatively quiet, which makes it easier to use than some when you’re at home.
Cost is obviously a factor, but the most important metric is total cost of ownership. At the very least, you need to calculate the cost against the lifetime of the device. My dad bought an expensive Kirby upright vacuum and I thought it was crazy to spend so much money on a vacuum at the time. But that was 30 years ago and he still has a perfectly working Kirby upright vacuum. During that time, I scoured thousands of dollars of every brand and style of vacuum cleaner at the same time.
For the price of these vacuums, you should expect them to last three years instead of being excellent. However, in my experience, most vacuum cleaners experience some sort of catastrophic failure long before three years have passed, but coincidentally after their warranty has expired. In this case, it’s impressive that the Neato D7 still performs so well.
This brings me to another thing that I really love about the Neato brand. They had units before D7 and they brought it Vacuums after J7. Although they continue to innovate and introduce new features and capabilities, they have essentially kept the same form factor. The benefit to consumers is that parts and accessories are interchangeable between almost all models.
It is not a “review” per se. The D7 is currently not available from Neato. On the one hand, this is a much better review than most in my opinion. Most reviews are written after performing a set of staged scenarios in an afternoon – or perhaps over the course of a week. It’s not a real test, and it’s not a long enough test for many problems to appear. I’ve used the Neato D7 in extreme conditions for three years and it still performs great. This type of durability and longevity is not easy to find these days.
It’s worth noting that Neato isn’t found anywhere in PC Magazine’s “Best Robot Vacuums of 2023. I don’t know for sure if any Neato units were considered, nor do I have first-hand knowledge of the vacuums that made the list, so it’s possible the Neato didn’t. All I’m saying is that the Neato has always been the best brand I’ve used, and the D7 continues to do a great job even after almost three years.